1. ## Brain teaser #2

Again, don't spoil it if you've seen this before. It's from the same book as the other.

Five people are in a room with no windows, no furniture, etc. The floor is a cement slab. Embedded in the middle of the floor standing vertically is a foot long metal pipe. At the bottom of the pipe is a ping pong ball, with roughly 1mm of clearance all the way around.

Problem: Get the ball out of the pipe without damaging the ball, pipe, or floor. You have the following at your disposal: One carpenter's hammer, a 12" wood ruler, a 6" piece of string, a paper clip, and a refrigerator magnet.

2. Ummm... would one of my fellow occupants happen to be MacGyver?

I guess I have several questions (which clearly have nothing to do with the actual solution, because you would have mentioned them). Can the ruler fit in the pipe? can the hammer head fit in the pipe? is the magnet powerful enough to be pulled by the hammer head if the ball was in between? Is the string edible if I get bored?

3. hmm...

Ideally the clip should somehow be put under the ball. Then the magnet would do the rest slowly pushing the paper clip up and, with it, the ball.

... I guess

4. Recount the inventory of everything in the room besides the pipe and ball.

5. yes, yes. just thinking out loud here

6. Well it's easy if MacGyver was there, just get him to build a death-ray, problem solved.

Seriously, I'd just suck the ball out of the pipe with my mouth

7. Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom
Ummm... would one of my fellow occupants happen to be MacGyver?
You rang, sir?

8. 1) Leave the room
2) Go to a game store
3) Buy a new ping pong ball
4) Realize that paying the 50 cents for a new ball is much more time and cost efficient then trying to get the ball out of the pipe.

KISS baby

9. Originally Posted by zacs7
Seriously, I'd just suck the ball out of the pipe with my mouth
That's not it, but realizing that none of the items I listed are of any help is the first step to the real solution.

Also, are you married?

10. I'll go the clean route, though I can imagine what is intended with 5 people...

Pour, uh, water into the pipe until the ball floats to the top. If we use anything else, I don't think I want the ping-pong ball that badly.

11. Originally Posted by jEssYcAt
I'll go the clean route, though I can imagine what is intended with 5 people...

Pour, uh, water into the pipe until the ball floats to the top. If we use anything else, I don't think I want the ping-pong ball that badly.
Ding, ding!

You got it - float it out.

12. Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula
If that chimp is so smart, how come he hasn't evolved yet? Dumb chimp.

13. Originally Posted by medievalelks
Ding, ding!

You got it - float it out.
Wow. A brain teaser in which the solution is not part of the problem. I've had better readings in my dentist waiting room.

EDIT: By the way, how does the book propose you fill the tube if there's no "windows, etc" - I presume this also means doors - spit my guts out into a 40mm diameter 1 foot tall pipe? Maybe cut myself with the paper clip and bleed to death into it...

14. Originally Posted by Mario F.
Wow. A brain teaser in which the solution is not part of the problem. I've had better readings in my dentist waiting room.

EDIT: By the way, how does the book propose you fill the tube if there's no "windows, etc" - I presume this also means doors - spit my guts out into a 40mm diameter 1 foot tall pipe? Maybe cut myself with the paper clip and bleed to death into it...